What do users want the most from Apple’s 2020 iPhones? Phone leaker and designer Ben Geskin recently held a poll asking that exact question. And the answer may be a ProMotion display.
But what is a ProMotion display? How is it going to benefit you? Here’s what you should know.
Earlier this month, Geskin posted a Twitter poll to his nearly 100,000 followers asking them what the “most important 2020 iPhone feature” was going to be.
At the time, Geskin had four choices: a 120Hz ProMotion Display, a USB-C connector, a 3D ToF camera, or a smaller notch. Interestingly, 49.3 percent of the 16,244 participants voted for the ProMotion display.
It is worth noting that Geskin posted additional polls with slightly different choices. In the second, a new design won out over 5G, an A14 chip or a new blue color scheme.
In the last, a new design barely took the top spot with 37.9 percent of the vote, compared to 34.4 percent for the 120Hz display.
Whether or not these results make sense to you depends on if you know what a higher display rate means for smartphone usage. But according to Geskin’s followers, a 120Hz display rate is nearly as important as a brand new design.
What is screen refresh rate?
Before you understand what 10Hz means, you need to understand what a refresh rate or display rate is.
In a nutshell, it’s the number of times that your screen refreshes its image. The higher the refresh rate, the more times per second your screen is able to be updated with new images.
As far as the benefit to the end user, the most noticeable benefit is a much smoother experience when scrolling or switching between apps. Other benefits include improved touch responsiveness and overall more fluid motion and animation on the screen.
Many popular screens and computer monitors use a standard 60Hz refresh rate. That includes the refresh rate o your MacBook Pro screen, as well as the one on your iPhones.
A higher refresh rate is often an important feature for gamers, since it results in smoother gameplay and less screen lag when playing a game. On iPads, it means that illustrators and artists can draw onscreen without any discernible lag.
What’s a ProMotion display?
Now that you know what refresh rate is, you know that a 120Hz screen is going to feature smoother animation and more fluid scrolling than a 60Hz screen. But what about the “ProMotion” part?
ProMotion is just Apple’s branding for a proprietary display technology first seen on the latest iPad Pro models. The ProMotion display on the new iPad Pro supports refresh rates up to 120Hz, but the tech actually goes beyond a higher refresh rate.
Apple’s system specifically refers to an adaptive refresh rate that allows a device to dynamically adjust its display on the fly to accommodate different viewing experiences and tasks like drawing or gaming.
The company also notes that its ProMotion display technology can improve overall display quality and reduce power consumption. It does so by intelligently adjusting the refresh rate to match the movement of content on a screen.
While an iPad Pro-exclusive since its launch in 2018, there are rumors that Apple will bring a 120Hz ProMotion display to its 2020 iPhone lineup. According to leaker Ice universe, users may be able to manually switch between 60Hz and 120Hz on their iPhones.
That would be an important and actually groundbreaking change for Apple’s iPhones, since most Android handsets that feature higher refresh rates top out at 90Hz.
What about the other features?
If you’re still not that interesting in a 120Hz ProMotion display on your iPhone, you may be asking about the other features listed in Geskin’s poll.
By the looks of it, the phone leaker gathered the latest rumors concerning this year’s iPhones and added them in as questions. Here’s what you should know about the features, and their likelihood of appearing on a 2020 iPhone.
- A14 Chip: Yes. Apple’s next first-party chip is a sure bet, and it’ll probably be called the A14.
- New design: Basically confirmed. At least some of this year’s iPhones will feature a more squared-off design akin to an iPhone 4, as well as new display sizes.
- 5G: Also basically confirmed. The latest reports suggest that all of Apple’s flagships in the fall will feature some type of 5G compatibility.
- 3D ToF camera: Pretty likely. Despite the lukewarm reception, Apple is expected to debut a time-of-flight camera on its Pro iPhones this year. It could boost augmented reality and photography.
- Smaller notch: Unsure. There have been rumors of smaller notches swirling the blogosphere for a while, but nothing concrete enough to suggest it’ll happen this year.
- New blue color: Also unsure. One rumor says that Apple may swap Midnight Green for a new Navy Blue this year. Take it with a grain of salt.
- USB-C: Not likely. Apple will probably stick to Lightning for the foreseeable future. Some rumors suggest it could forego cables entirely in favor of wireless charging and data transmission.
What is your most desirable feature for the 2020 iPhone? Are you planning to upgrade this year or planning to wait it out? Shoot us your comments.
Mike is a freelance journalist from San Diego, California.
While he primarily covers Apple and consumer technology, he has past experience writing about public safety, local government, and education for a variety of publications.
He’s worn quite a few hats in the journalism field, including writer, editor, and news designer.